Detroit Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer has pitched in the last four seasons between the bullpen and rotation. For the Tigers, where does he provide a better option?
Detroit Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer is no stranger to the bullpen, nor to the starting rotation. He finished last season in the rotation. With the battle for the number five spot going on during spring training, Farmer is presumably in the mix.
Farmer and the Tigers could never agree on where he was best suited. He was rushed up into the majors in 2014. Since then he’s been bouncing between Toledo and Detroit. Farmer, who turns 27 this year, has just one minor league option left.
Stats With the Detroit Tigers
In four seasons with the Tigers, Farmer has started a total of 16 times. He’s only logged 127.0 innings of work through his time in the bigs. He’s tossed a 6.80 ERA with a 7.87 K/9, 4.39 BB/9, and a 41.1 GB%. In context, his K/9 rate is average, his BB/9 is awful and his GB% is below league average.
His four-seam fastball has an average velocity of 93.1 mph. His cutter averages 88.3 mph and his sinker comes in at 91.8. He relies greatly on those three pitches, logging 1263 pitches (Cutter), 1154 (four-seam ) and 1093 (sinker) since 2014.
In 2017 Farmer posted an above average BABIP of .336. However, BABIP is hard to evaluate against pitchers as bad defense and bad luck affect a pitchers BABIP.
Stats With the Mud Hens
Part of why the Tigers called Farmer up last season was how well he pitched with AAA Toledo Mudhens. In 2016, he posted a 3.93 ERA, 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and a 1.326 WHIP in 123.2 innings of work.
In addition, he posted an above average K/9 rate (8.30) and a slightly above average BB/9 rate (2.6). With the exception of 2014, Farmer has posted above-average K/9 rates as well as average to above-average BB/9 rates in the minors.
Farmer has shown that he’s capable of logging innings as a starter and producing quality outings when he’s on the mound. The 26-year old has struggled with consistency. According to a recent article in the Detroit News, Farmer has worked on making adjustments to improve his consistency. If he can use his off-season work to make some minor adjustments we should expect Farmer to be the fifth man in the rotation.
His time in the minor leagues shows that he’s capable of being a reliable and consistent starter.